Hillary Clinton says no need for apology over private e-mail controversy

US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaking at the Quad City Federation of Labour in Hampton, Illinois on Sept 7, 2015.
US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaking at the Quad City Federation of Labour in Hampton, Illinois on Sept 7, 2015.PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton says she does not need to apologise for using a private e-mail account and server while she was secretary of state because what she did "was allowed".

In an interview with the Associated Press on Monday (Sept 7), she also called the e-mails controversy "a distraction" that had not affected her campaign plans or her message. But she added that separate private and public e-mail addresses would have been a "better choice".

"I have worked really hard this summer, sticking to my game plan about how I wanted to sort of reintroduce myself to the American people," she was quoted as saying in the interview.

Her use of her private e-mail for her work as America's top diplomat from 2009 to 2013 came to light in March and drew fire from political opponents who accused her of sidestepping transparency and record-keeping laws. The private account was linked to a server in her New York home.

She has said the unusual arrangement broke no rules that were in force at the time, although critics have said it has caused long delays in providing federal records to lawmakers and the public.

The FBI is examining Mrs Clinton's server to see whether information was mishandled. No evidence has emerged suggesting her e-mail practices had harmed national security.

"What I did was allowed. It was allowed by the State Department. The State Department has confirmed that," Mrs Clinton said in the AP interview.